Elijah was drunk. Drunk and *very* talkative.
"I'm not *usually* this drunk," he slurred in the middle of a speech
about the merits of live music as opposed to pre-recorded pop.
"He's *not* usually this drunk," Dom grinned at Sean over his
Elijah's bowed head, strung between them on the lanky wire of his
arms. "Must be bit over-excited. We almost never get the fourth
hobbit to come with us, do we?"
Sean smiled patiently, not replying -- he'd repeated his reasons for
not coming out with them countless times, and knew from experience
that it made little difference to their jibes and prompting.
"...mellon collie... mellon collie would have to be their best album;
I mean just look at it. Listen to it, I mean, because you can't
really *look* at it, though well, yes I suppose you can, the cover
art is nice though a bit too..."
"I think our Ringbearer has been bearing a little too much grog
than's good for him," Billy murmured quietly, the smooth rolling
consonants not without affection. "Orli wants to keep going
though . . . Think he'll make it to the next pub?"
"No," Sean said firmly, at the same time that Elijah said "Yes," and
subsequently his knees seemed to give up the fight and his legs went
"Christ, Elijah," Dom grunted, suddenly struggling under half his
weight. "You could have given us some cunting warning."
Elijah giggled. "Cunt," he said happily, making no attempt to regain
control of his lower body.
"I think I'll take him home . . . I've had enough for the night,
anyway, I think."
"Are you sure?" Dom asked. "We could always send him back in a taxi."
Sean shook his head, smiling wryly. "No . . . Who knows where he'd
end up then? No, I haven't been drinking, I'll drive him back. Do
you guys have enough for a cab home, then?"
Dom looked at Billy, smiling sweetly and blinking. Billy rolled his
eyes in mock exasperation. "Yes, I suppose *we* do," he said
sarcastically. "But we'll walk you back to the car, anyway. I still
can't get over how small Wellington is!"
"Even smaller than ye olde Scotland?" Dom asked brightly, and Billy
"Yes. Now shut up and carry. Orli!" Billy called out to the angular
figure striding ahead. "Detour! Lij's flaked!"
"... I love it, you know, I really really love it because I don't
know if it's because, you know, I never really went to school, well,
I never went to school at *all* so I didn't really have any other
kids to talk about this kind of shit with, but you know, Billy--"
Elijah giggled briefly, the sound barely discernable from the
constant flow of words.
"--Billy *Corgan* I mean, he went through some shit when he was a
kid, he went through a lot of shit, not that I did, you know, but
still he sings about shit, he *writes* about shit, that just speaks
to me, you know? Once you get past the voice and into the lyrics,
it's just *poetry*, and it's *good* poetry, none of that fancy `shall
I compare thee to a cunty day' crap . . ."
Sean grimaced, nodded automatically, and glanced sideways again
briefly -- Elijah's eyes were fixed on the road ahead, hands pulling
nervously at the band of the seatbelt across his chest, winding his
hands in it.
"Sean?" Elijah's head jerked up. "Sean, are you taking me home?"
"Good." Elijah's hands gave an extra-sharp tug at the
The steps of the porch were managed with surprising ease, and from
there it was only a brief -- if precarious -- stumble into the
bedroom. Sean dumped Elijah's semi-deadweight body to sprawl on its
unmade covers. He moved over to the window and opened it a crack,
letting an invisible ribbon of fresh air into the smoke-stale room
then shutting the curtains against the painful promise of a morning
"Sean," Elijah muttered from the bed, and Sean turned again, picking
his was through piles of dirty clothes to settle next to the limp
body on the bed.
"What is it? Are you gonna puke?" He pressed the backs of his
fingers to the pale forehead; a pointless gesture if he *was* feeling
nauseous, but it always seemed to comfort Alex when she had an upset
Elijah shook his head mutely.
"Good. Come on, then." He leaned back, pulling off Elijah's shoes
and tossing them on the floor, then leaned forward again, encouraging
Elijah to lift his shoulders as he awkwardly pulled away his jacket.
Elijah's breath was beery, yet still managed to maintain its constant
undercurrent of tobacco smoke, Sean discovered, as Elijah sudden made
a jerky movement upwards and crushed his lips to Sean's, half-missing
his target and pressing bruisingly hard against the corner of his
mouth. His hand was painfully tight and shaking at the back of
"Lij--" Sean said, somewhat muffled, abandoning the jacket to bring
his hands up to Elijah's shoulders and pushing him back -- gently at
first, then firmly when he realised more force was needed -- onto the
bed. Elijah dropped, eyes bright and gleaming, and licked his lips
nervously, panting as he stared up at Sean.
"Lij . . ." he said again, somewhat struggling to find a response to
*that* . . . He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. "What was
*that* all about?"
"You know exactly what it was about," Elijah said breathlessly,
hiding the shaking of his hands by lurching up towards Sean again.
"No, Elijah--" Sean gripped his wrists, moved them gently back to
Elijah's sides. "I can't."
"I'm straight." He laughed suddenly. "And besides, I'm *married*."
Elijah's eyes flickered to where Sean's hand still banded his wrist,
to where gold banded Sean's finger.
"I know you want me Sean. I've seen the way you look at me."
Changing tact, obviously.
*Oh god, let him forget this in the morning,* Sean prayed silently,
half at embarrassment felt for Elijah and half for embarrassment felt
at his own words as he said, "You're gorgeous Elijah, *everyone* on
set probably looks at you like they want to fuck you."
"Like they want to . . ." Blue eyes flew back to his face, pulse
fluttering like trapped butterflies in his grasp. "Then you . . ."
"No," he said firmly, pressing Elijah's wrists down one more time
before pushing himself up from the bed before he said something he
might regret even *more* . . . If that was possible at this
stage. "I can't, Elijah. I can't and I won't."
Elijah closed his eyes as Sean leant over again -- not as close this
time -- to finally pull the jacket away.
Sean sighed, pulling the duvet up over the unmoving body, and it
wasn't until he moved to leave the room that Elijah gasped, "Sean--"
"Elijah. I'm sorry, but you know . . ."
"No, I-- I think I'm going to be sick after all, I . . ."
And he couldn't think of anything but Alex as his hand smoothed back
Elijah's forehead, an Alex younger and sicker than he believed she
could ever be, screaming because she hadn't the words yet to tell
them what was wrong. And Sean couldn't believe -- even now, with
Elijah's body heaving next to him as he retched -- that it was
anything less than critical, though the doctor had reassured him it
was nothing more serious than a stomach flu; or maybe too much rich
foods at too young an age.
He and Christine had been terrified, though.
"You know I used to . . . Feel bad if I passed out without . . .
Saying my prayers . . ." Elijah gasped as Sean finally eased him back
into the bed for the second time that night.
"I'll get you a glass of water," Sean said softly, tucking the duvet
up again before padding out of the room.
Elijah was asleep when he got back, glass cool in his hand and a
water on the clinging to the side warming on his skin. He placed it
carefully on the night-table, an inexplicable regret rising as he
straightened again and looked down, and found himself thinking,
*Well. Thank god *that's* over.*